Information provided on this page for classroom use only; not for publication. 2003


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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a great book to use during Spring/early Summer.  I've also used it when focusing on Letter C (caterpillar & cocoon) and then you can easily roll on into Letter B (butterfly).  The children always love the book because of all the food the caterpillar gets to eat through, as well as the text of the book.  Some of the food isn't familiar to them, so they're increasing their vocabulary as well.  After frequent re-readings, the book lends itself well to allowing the students to orally read along with you (one of our K benchmark objectives).  Scroll on down and you'll find all kinds of activities to use with this book.


NOTE: So that hopefully no one else emails me to take me to task or to inform me of the difference, I do actually know that most butterflies come not from a cocoon, but from a chrysalis.  On this page I've used the two words interchangeably because cocoon is used in Carle's book and the fact that most butterflies do come from a chrysalis.  Eric did not make a mistake in his book and this is what he states on his website concerning the matter:

Here’s the scientific explanation: In most cases a butterfly does come from a chrysalis, but not all. There’s a rare genus called Parnassian, that pupates in a cocoon. These butterflies live in the Pacific Northwest, in Siberia, and as far away as North Korea and the northern islands of Japan.

And here’s my unscientific explanation: My caterpillar is very unusual. As you know caterpillars don’t eat lollipops and ice cream, so you won’t find my caterpillar in any field guides. But also, when I was a small boy, my father would say, “Eric, come out of your cocoon.” He meant I should open up and be receptive to the world around me. For me, it would not sound right to say, .“Come out of your chrysalis.” And so poetry won over science!

So I respectfully take all this into consideration and discuss all aspects with my students.  In other words, we leave no leaf unturned. ;)





To see how I use poems and songs in my classroom, go to Literacy Connections for further information.  There you'll read about our Poetry Journals, Song Charts, Book Boxes, and how we use pocketcharts.


Five Fuzzy Caterpillars
Five fuzzy caterpillars on a spring day.
Five fuzzy caterpillars crawl and play.
Five fuzzy caterpillars eat and eat some more.
Five fuzzy caterpillars we can see no more.
Each in a chrysalis they will stay, till they are butterflies and fly away.

~ Author Unknown


Up and down the air you float,
Like a little fairy boat.
I should like to sail that sky,
Gliding like a butterfly.

~ Author Unknown



(tune:  “Adams Family”)

My tummy is fat. (snap snap)
I like it like that. (snap snap)
I wiggle around,
I jiggle around,
My tummy is fat. (snap snap)

I'm a hairy caterpillar
I'm such a chubby feller
I love to eat and eat,
Those leaves are such a treat!

Back to refrain*


~ Author Unknown


Caterpillar Snack - Thread Fruit Loops on a stick pretzel.  Add a marshmallow for a head and broken pieces of pretzel for antennae. 


The Very Hungry Student

On Monday  ____ (student's name) ate _________.  (one apple)

On Tuesday ____ ate __________. (two pancakes)


continue on through the week.  You can use this for a class made book or on sentence strips in the pocketchart (or both).  You can also use the same sentence frame but use the months instead.


Egg Carton Caterpillar - Cut 3 egg cups from a cardboard or paper egg carton (not styrofoam), keeping them intact with each other.  Have the students paint them yellow and green.  Then hotglue wiggly eyes on.  Puncture a hole on each side of the head for black pipecleaner antennae.


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Coffee Filter Butterflies - Each student needs two coffee filters.  Have them add a design to the coffee filters using washable markers.  Warn them not to color in too much in one place or they'll make a hole in the filter.  And they don't need to color in the whole filter.  When they're finished adding the design, lay the filters on brown paper sacks and lightly spray the filters with water.  The marker color will begin to bleed and color the filter.  When they're dry, squish the two filters together in the middle to form two wings.  Use a black pipecleaner to fashion a body and two antennae.


Bulletin Board - The cutest bulletin board can be made using the egg carton caterpillars and coffee filter butterflies from above.   Draw a tree branch onto a piece of brown bulletin board paper and cut out.  Attach the branch to your board.  Have the students create cocoons/chrysalis from brown paper lunch bags by wading them up and smoothing them out.  (They should no longer be stiff, but soft and pliable.)  Put the caterpillars into the cocoon and staple them onto the branch on the bulletin board.  One day when the students are out of the room, swap the butterflies for the caterpillars.  Two weeks from the date they were hung, when the students are out of the room, tear holes in the sacks and pull the caterpillars through slightly as if they're emerging from their cocoons.  The next day before the students arrive, have the butterflies scattered around the room.


This is our bulletin board that we did the last couple of weeks of school.  All of our cocoons were not on there and because it was so close to the end, I just stuck a branch that I already had up. I put it on our old Word Wall bulletin board that I had to take down to give the MCT.



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May 2003


Life Cycle of a Butterfly - There are many different ways that you can do this project.  One way is to use a white paperplate sectioned into fourths using a Sharpie.  In the first section have students glue on a white button for the egg.  Then in the second section have them make a caterpillar using small green pom-poms.  In the third section, have them cut a cocoon/chrysalis from a piece of brown construction paper and glue it on.  In the last section, have them draw and color a beautiful butterfly.


Variations:  for the first section, have students glue on a green silk leaf or cut one from green construction paper.  They will glue their egg onto the leaf.  Instead of using a button for an egg, they can use a small white bean or pearl.


Glue small wiggly eyes onto caterpillar using hotglue.


Make caterpillar using green stamp pad and finger.  Either stamp finger laying long way or use overlapping fingerprints.  Add legs and other details with black Sharpie.


Use green packing peanut for caterpillar.


Glue a twig onto the top of the cocoon as if it's holding onto the twig.


Make a small butterfly from tissue paper and glue it into the fourth section.


You can also create the life cycle on 3x5 index cards.  One stage per card.  Then the students can practice putting the cards in the correct order.


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This life cycle was shared by Anna.  It sounds very cute.  Anna thanks for sharing your project. :)

I wanted to share with you how I've done the life cycle. I read this somewhere and loved the idea. I also divide the paperplate in quarters or cut a manilla paper circle and divide it. We draw a leaf and place a grain of barley on it for the egg. The caterpillar is rigatoni pasta that I have dyed green and the children draw stripes on it with a black marker. This is placed on another colored leaf. The chrysalis is shell pasta that the children color with a marker. It is placed on a small twig we glue to the plate or we draw one. The butterfly is bowtie pasta that the children also color with markers. The whole thing looks really cute.


Life Cycle Coloring Pages-,,33862-1607,00.pdf,,33866-1611,00.pdf,,33861-1606,00.pdf


Fun Caterpillar - Libby shared this neat little trick way back in 1999.  Take a straw that has a paper covering and squish the paper from both ends towards the middle.  When it can't be squished up any more, slide if off the straw.  (You don't need the straw, just the paper! :)  )  The little tunnel of paper is your caterpillar.  If you drop a drop or two of water on the caterpillar it will move just like a real caterpillar.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet and food - You'll need a caterpillar sock puppet and the foods that the caterpillar ate through.  Each food needs to be BIG with a hole cut in the middle of it big enough to get your puppet/hand through.  (The puppet is going to eat THROUGH the food)  To make the puppet, start with a green sock and add wiggly eyes and a mouth.  (antennae is optional)  As you tell the story, you'll put your hand through the hole of the appropriate food and it will then sit around your wrist like a giant bangle bracelet.  I believe you can buy the food with the hole already through it.  I think I have it.  ????


Fly Fly Butterfly

(tune: Skip To My Lou)


Fly fly butterfly

Fly fly butterfly

Fly fly butterfly

Fly up in the sky so high.

~ Author Unknown


The Fuzzy Caterpillar

(tune: The Itsy Bitsy Spider)


The fuzzy caterpillar

Curled upon a leaf.

Spun her little chrysalis

And then fell asleep.

While she was sleeping,

She dreamed that she could fly.

And later when she woke up,

She was a butterfly!

~ Author Unknown



Our garden's furry little train,

Sir Caterpillar, please explain.

I've been told that by and by

You'll turn into a butterfly.

Instead of moving like a train,

You'll fly and flutter like a plane!

~ Author Unknown



I've wished for wings, but I don't know

Just how a kid gets wings to grow.

If you could show me how to do it,

I bet there would be nothing to it!

~ Author Unknown



Flitter, flitter, butterfly.

Flitter, flitter, butterfly.

Flitter, flitter, butterfly.

Flitter, and fly up in the sky.

~ Author Unknown



Oh my, butterfly.

Oh my, butterfly.

Oh my, butterfly.

Do you always fly so high?

~ Author Unknown


What did the caterpillar eat? - Have each student illustrate or cut pictures from magazines to glue onto small paperplates showing what the caterpillar ate.  Then brad the plates together so that they stack up.  The students can use these in retelling the story.


The Healthy Caterpillar - Give each student 5 die-cut circles.  One red circle, 2 dark green and 2 light green.  The red circle is the head.  Glue the circles together to form a caterpillar.  Add facial features.  Have students cut out 3 healthy foods from magazines and glue one to each of the 3 middle circles.


Popsicle Caterpillar - Glue dark and light green pom-poms onto a craft stick.  Add small wiggly eyes and pipecleaner antennae.  You can add a magnet to the back.


Wax Paper Butterflies - Shave crayons onto wax paper.  Top with another sheet of wax paper.   Place a sheet of newspaper over the two sheets of wax paper.  Iron with a warm iron until the crayon shavings melt.  When cool, cut into a butterfly.


Clothespin Butterflies - Give each student one slot-type clothespin.  Have them insert 12 inch pieces of colored tissue paper into the slot by pinching it in the middle.  Add antennae by winding a half piece around the head of the pin leaving two pieces sticking up for the antennae. 


Ink-blot Butterflies - These butterflies turned out prettier than any we did.  I copied a butterfly pattern onto many different colors of construction paper.  I let the students choose which color they wanted.  I allowed those with the best behavior for the day to choose first and worked my way down our discipline ladder.  I also photocopied the same butterfly pattern onto white paper, but I reduced the pattern a little.  The students were each given a white butterfly as well.  They cut out both, then we folded the white butterflies in half.  We opened the butterfly back up and they added tempra paint blobs to one side only.  Then we folded the butterfly back together and pressed.  Then I showed them how to gently pull the top of the butterfly back up.  Once they were dry, I stapled only the middle of the painted butterfly to the middle of the larger butterfly.  They turned out very pretty!  I wish I'd saved one to show you.  :(


Symmetry Butterflies - I just used the same paint blot idea from above to teach a math lesson on symmetry.  We started with a sheet of black construction paper folded in half, then the student chose 3 different colors of paint and dripped it onto one side of the construction paper.  Press the paper together and slowly peel apart.  Discuss the symmetry.  Once the paint was dry, I refolded the paper and placed a half butterfly template that I drawn on the fold and cut it out.  Then I used a long arm stapler to staple the butterfly to another sheet of construction paper, only stapling down the middle for a 3D effect.  This would also make a great class quilt, but since I was only working with one student, I don't think that would be a very big quilt! ;)


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For the Younger Ones - Cut butterflies of different colors or from wallpaper samples.  Cut each butterfly in half.  Give each student a butterfly half.  Turn on some music and have them fly around the room until they find the other student with the matching half to their butterfly.


The Little Caterpillar

(tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider)


The little caterpillar climbed up into a tree (climb fingers of one hand up other arm)

Spun his cocoon and slept so quietly (spin hands and sleep)

All through the winter he didn't make a sound (shake head no with finger front of lips)

He dreamt of his new life when he'd be flying around. ( pretend to sleep)

While he was sleeping the snow did gently fall (fingers wiggle down)

Winter came and went then he heard the robin's call "Come on Mr. Butterfly, out of your cocoon (hands to mouth and shout)

Spread your wings and fly for me while I sing my tune." (spread arms and wave)


Bulletin Board - Have students cut out green leaf then hole punch on leaf as many times as they'd like.  Then glue on packing peanut for caterpillar and add two black eyes with Sharpie.  Add the leaves to a bare tree branch on the bulletin board.


Butterfly Mobile - You need a pretty butterfly pattern.  Enlarge or reduce the pattern so that it is 3 different sizes.  The largest should be a little larger than the palm of your hand.  Copy them onto different colors of construction paper and cut them apart.  Allow students to choose the colors they'd like as long as they get one of each size.  Have the students color and cut them out.  Hotglue or attach a long piece of fishing line to the smaller butterfly.  String the fishing line through the opening of a straw and out the other end.  Hotglue that end of the fishing line to the middle sized butterfly.  The fishing line with the two butterflies should slide back and forth through the straw.  Then hotglue another piece of fishing line to the larger butterfly.  Hotglue the other end of the line to the middle of the straw.  Glue a loop of fishing line onto the top of the straw in the middle to hang it with.   We hung these in the hall and they looked like they were fluttering in the breeze because you couldn't see the fishing line.


Counting -  I copied LARGE leaves onto green construction paper and programmed each leaf with a number.  Then we cut them out and laminated them.  The students count out the correct number of eggs onto each leaf.  The eggs are small white buttons.  You can also make caterpillars for these by wrapping a half of a light green and half of a dark green pipecleaner around a pencil.  Add small wiggly eyes. 


I'm also going to use these same leaves when I do The Grouchy Ladybug.  I have small ladybug counters that I bought in the craft dept. at Wal-Mart as well as some small ladybug erasers that I got at Dollar Tree.  So I have plenty of ladybugs. :)


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These are my ladybugs and the leaf.  I don't have any white buttons at home for the picture.


Pattern Blocks -  Use your pattern blocks to create a butterfly.  Then use patterns stamps, stickers, or the printable pattern blocks to make a pattern.  Photocopy the pattern and add it to a piece of construction paper or a file folder.  If you'd like, you can add other details to the picture.  Laminate.  The students can use the pattern to create the butterfly as a Center activity.  On a separate response sheet you can have them count and record how many of each type pattern block they used.  Ex.   ___ green triangles  (if that's the color of the triangles, I can't remember)

If you need the site with the printable block patterns, go to "Scare"crows, But Not Me! and scroll down towards the bottom of the page.  The link to the site is there.


Estimation Jar -  Fill a small jar with butterfly counters (mini erasers) and have students estimate how many butterflies are in the jar.  They can record their answer on small slips of paper with their name and drop them into a basket.  Later you can look at the estimations as a group, record the answers and/or graph them.  Then count the butterflies together.  Discuss who had the exact answer, who was the closest, who had too many, who had not enough, who had the same, etc. 


Matching -  You can use die-cut butterflies to create all kinds of matching games.  Younger children can match same colors using two whole butterflies or one butterfly cut in half.  Others can match colored butterflies to color words, dots on the butterfly to number words or numbers, capital letters to lowercase, pictures to beginning sounds, pictures to words, pictures to rhyming pictures, two small words to create compound words, synonyms, antonyms, etc. 


Note: A brand new pencil eraser makes perfectly round dots when used with an ink pad.


Sock Puppet -  If you're creative you can design a neat puppet to show the stages of a butterfly.  Start with a green or striped sock.  Create the head of the caterpillar on the toe of the sock.  Now, to show the cocoon/chrysalis stage, you'd folder the top of the sock up and over the head (similar to how some people pair their socks for storage).  On the inside of the sock you'd sew/attach two wings and another head.  To show the metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly, simply turn the sock wrong side outwards.  When you make the caterpillar enter the cocoon, make sure you don't show the wings.  They should be further towards the head of the butterfly so that they only show when you turn the sock wrong side outwards.



(tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Little Arabella Miller

Had a wooly caterpillar.

First she put it on her mother,

Then she put it on her brother.

Little Arabella Miller,

Take away that caterpillar!

~Author Unknown



"Let's got to sleep," the little caterpillars said,

As they tucked themselves into their beds.

They will awaken by and by,

And each one will be a lovely butterfly.

~Author Unknown


Feltboard -  Create the pieces for The Very Hungry Caterpillar using felt or Pellon interfacing.  If using the Pellon, you can color them with PERMANENT markers.  DO NOT use washable markers.  The marker will come off on your hands.


Cocoon/Chrysalis -  You can have students loosely roll up in a brown blanket to represent the cocoon or even wrap them loosely in toilet tissue while the class recites:

"Go to sleep little caterpillar."

"Wake up beautiful butterfly."


Of course this activity needs to be on a strictly voluntary basis.  I would NOT like this activity if I were the student.


I'm a Butterfly

(tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)


I spin and spin my chrysalis (circle fingers on palm)

Then go to rest inside (close fingers and rest hand on palm)

When I come out, I've changed indeed (open fingers slowly)

Look! I'm a butterfly! (fingers fly away)

~Author Unknown



1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - I caught a butterfly!

6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - I let him go again.

~ Author Unknown



(tune: Up On the Housetop)


First comes a butterfly lays an egg,

Out comes a caterpillar with many legs.

Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin,

A little chrysalis to sleep in.

Oh, oh, oh look and see.

Oh, oh, oh look and see.

Out of the chrysalis

My oh my.

Out comes a pretty butterfly!

~ Author Unknown


Patterning -  Use the stages of the caterpillar for patterning. 

(AB) Egg, caterpillar, egg, caterpillar, etc.  

(ABB) Egg, caterpillar, caterpillar, egg, caterpillar, caterpillar, etc.  

(ABCD) Egg, caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly, egg, caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly, etc. 


You can also use these same pictures to do patterning in your calendar if you have the pocketchart calendar or some other kind that you attach the numbers to.  If you wanted to do the stages, you would use the ABCD pattern.  Just program each picture with a number for your calendar.  Be careful not to mess up the pattern.  :)  It's easy to do!


Collage Butterfly -  Give each student a butterfly outline on a piece of white construction paper.  Have them cover the butterfly with glue using their finger.  Then add 1 inch square pieces of colored tissue paper.  When dry, cut out.


The Very Hungry Kindergartener -  Make a book using the months and this sentence frame:


In August, _____ (child's name) ate one ____ (favorite food), but he was still hungry.

continue through the months

In June and July, _____ rested ... then turned into a wonderful first grader!


Students illustrate each page.


Hatching butterflies -  You can purchase larvae and a butterfly house from Lakeshore.   The larvae change into butterflies right in your classroom.


Butterfly Costumes -  Fold a piece of colored posterboard in half for each student.  Trace off a butterfly wing onto one side with the fold representing the body.  Have students cut out (or you may have to do this since you'll be cutting through two pieces of posterboard simultaneously).  Then allow students to decorate one the wings on the INSIDE with paint.  Then press the other wing down into the paint creating a symmetrical design on both wings.  When dry punch two holes in the upper portion of the center of the butterfly (one hole in each wing).  Thread narrow elastic through the two holes so that they come out opposite of the decorated side of the wings.  The elastic should be cut to a length so that once it's tied, it will fit snuggly around the chest of the student.  The elastic should hold the wings into place on the student's back.  Then have them each make a black headband from construction paper and two antennae.  Staple or glue the antennae to the headband and staple it around the child's head.  Then watch them fly around the room in their very cool butterfly costume.


Butterfly Garden -  If you have the space and necessary materials needed you can create your own butterfly garden.  Check with your local plant nursery or co-op to see what plants are good for your area and which ones would attract butterflies.  There's nothing so beautiful to me as a free wheeling butterfly.  :)  If possible, put the garden where it will get the most attention from your students.  Possibly outside your classroom window.


Number Words: Copy enough of the food pictures from what the caterpillar ate through to create a counting activity in the pocketchart.  Copy the pictures onto cardstock, color and laminate.  Have the students count the food items and match to the correct number word.


TLC Caterpillar - You can find a TLC caterpillar in the Beginning Lessons Book.


TLC Butterfly: - There's also a TLC butterfly, but I don't know which book it's in.



Fuzzy, wuzzy, creepy crawly
Caterpillar funny
You will be a butterfly
When the days are sunny.

~Author Unknown


Sock Puppet -  This idea was shared with me by Carol in MA.  Thanks for sharing, Carol! :) 

Take a green or brown knee sock and turn it inside out.  Make a large felt butterfly and glue just the middle of its body to the middle of the sock-when you move your hand the wings should move up and down.  I glued felt spots all over the butterfly -colors of the foods the caterpillar ate.  Also from felt make all of the foods that the caterpillar ate.  Turn the sock right side out and push the toe end kind of in towards the back of your hand to make a mouth.  Pass out all of the food pieces to your students.  As you tell the story they feed the caterpillar.  I do things like have him grab food or burp or other goofy things with the kids.  I keep talking to him and telling him to be polite, etc.  As they feed him his "stomach" will look fatter and fatter.  You'll kind of have to keep pushing the toe in.  When he has eaten everything and has a stomach ache I pull the top of the sock over the rest of the sock to make a chrysalis.  Then I put my hand behind my back and say he's sleeping for 2 weeks.  But I tell the kids to yell, "Wake up Caterpillar."  While my hand is behind my back I turn the sock inside out.  This makes the food go inside the sock and brings the butterfly to the outside.  When the kids call out "Wake up Caterpillar"  I bring my hand to the front and the butterfly flaps his wings and the kids are shocked and so excited and cannot figure where the food went.  And I never tell them! 


Butterfly Song:

I found a butterfly on me!
She started out in a very small way.
An egg smaller than my toe!
Next a caterpillar she would be.
In a chrysalis is where she'd lie.
That's how my butterfly came to be!

~ Jennifer Runkle

*submitted by Jennifer


Sun Catcher Butterfly -  We made these really neat butterflies.  I copied the butterfly pattern onto black construction paper.  The students cut out the butterflies and either cut out the center pieces or we cut them out for them (depending on their ability).  Then they chose whatever color tissue paper they wanted to fill in the holes.  The only stipulation was that the wings had to be symmetrical since we were studying symmetry in Math.  Then they/we cut the tissue paper to fit the hole (you can use the cutout as a template and trace the hole on the tissue paper) and we taped the tissue paper on the back of the butterfly.  Then the butterflies were taped to the window.  The butterflies were soooo pretty, but it wasn't very long at all before the side facing the sun turned the black paper to brown.



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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game:

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Puzzle:

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Butterfly Puppet -  This is a butterfly that I bought in the Pet Section of Wal-Mart.  It was so pretty I thought the kids could use it in retelling The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  And that's just what they did!  We dabbled in this unit the very last two weeks of school.  The last days I spent mostly in IEP meetings, finishing up assessments, and packing up the classroom.  While all this was going on, the students had time to delve into activities that we didn't normally have a lot of time to spend on.  So one day, with one of my second graders in the lead, the kids proceeded to make all the food props for the book and then they used the egg carton caterpillars that we'd made, the paperbag cocoon, and this butterfly to retell the story.  Several of them got together (2nd & 3rd graders), practiced, and then retold the story for the rest of the class.  They did such a great job at the whole thing and I was so proud of them. :)



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This butterfly is really designed as a dog toy, but it would never hold up to my dog playing with it.  It has a place between the body and the wings that you can slide your fingers into to make it into a puppet.


Touch and Taste Chart -  Choose 3 or 4 foods that the Very Hungry Caterpillar ate and provide each student a sample of each on a plate.  They may work alone or in pairs to taste each food and write down adjectives on their chart to describe each food.  (You will make the chart ahead of time according to the foods that you provided.)  When everyone has completed the activity, the class will meet as a whole and provide their descriptive words for each food.  Their answers will be recorded on a large class chart.  This will give them an opportunity to read their responses and tell why they chose the words that they did.   For nonreaders/writers, skip the individual charts and just have them complete the class chart with your help.


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Bookmark -  Provide each student with the materials to create their own Very Hungry Caterpillar bookmark.  They'll need cardstock or construction paper for the base of the bookmark, green construction paper for the leaf, a whole punch to "eat through" the leaf, a Sharpie marker to add the book title, and crayons or markers to make their caterpillar.


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Caterpillar Counting Line - You can incorporate art and math using this activity.  Provide students with small paperplates; yellow, green and red paint, and black construction paper.  Have one student paint the under side of a paperplate red and add facial features using wiggly eyes, marker, construction paper or whatever.  Then have them add antennae using black pipecleaners.  Other students will work to paint the underside of more plates using yellow and green paint by dabbing it on with a sponge therefore giving the plates a mottled green and yellow effect.   The students can also create legs by cutting black construction paper.  Once all parts are finished, then the plates can be assembled on a wall or bulletin board to create a caterpillar.  Add the legs.  Then die-cut numbers from red construction paper and glue to each plate to form the number line.  The number line could be counting from 1-5, 1-10, 1-20, counting backwards from 10, counting by 2s, counting by 5s, counting by 10s, counting by 3s, etc.  Whatever your class happens to be working on at the time.


Sequencing Cards -  You can draw these simple sequencing cards on 3x5 index cards, laminate, and have your students use them in the pocketchart.


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7.7.08 Here's a link for printable pictures that you won't have to draw!  Just print and glue onto cards, color and you're done!


Shapes Butterfly -  Use 5 large circles, 13 small circles, and one rectangle to make this butterfly.  Students color shapes, cut out, then glue onto construction paper to form butterfly.  Use a black crayon to add eyes and antennae.



Shapes Caterpillar -  Use 4 large circles, 4 small circles, one triangle, and two rectangles to make this caterpillar.  Students color shapes, cut out, then glue onto construction paper to form caterpillar. 




Word Cards - Make 5 sentence strips using the sentence frame: On _____ he ate through ____ _____.  Then make words cards using 3x5 index cards with the days of the week (Mon. - Fri), the number words one through five, and the first 5 foods the VHC ate through.  Students will read each sentence frame and program them using the correct word card.  For instance, the first sentence would say: On Monday he ate through one apple


*Tip* When making your sentence strips, lay a 3x5 index card in the place where you need the blank.  This will ensure that you make your blank the correct length and the word card doesn't end up covering up some of your words or leave waaay to much space in your sentence.  I ALWAYS try to model correct spacing for my students as this is something they have great difficulty with.  So I pay a lot of attention to those kinds of details.



Monday one apple

Tuesday two pears

Wednesday three plums

Thursday four strawberries

Friday five oranges


Bulletin Board -  Make a large tree branch from brown construction paper and place on bulletin board.  Give each student a page with a large leaf and the sentence frame: He ate through ______ but he was still hungry.  Students complete the frame with something that the caterpillar ate through such as an ice cream cone, then illustrate their sentence.  The leaves are then colored, cut out, and stapled onto the branch on the bulletin board.


Fruit Prints - Use fruits that the caterpillar ate through to make prints on a paper using paint.


Pocketchart Counting 1 - 5 -  Draw or use clipart to make cards with fruit on them. 


card - 1 apple

card - 2 pears

card - 3 plums

card - 4 strawberries

card - 5 oranges


Then make number cards with the numbers 1 - 5.  Students count the fruits on each card and match it to the correct number in the pocketchart.


To extend this activity beyond 5, use cards with random foods that the caterpillar ate through.


Food Patterns - Use the foods that the caterpillar ate through in patterns.  Use clipart or draw many of each type of food that he ate through.  Then color and laminate.  The students can use these foods to create many types of patterns.


Ex.  orange, apple, orange, apple

ice cream, cake, lollipop, ice cream, cake, lollipop


Vocabulary Match -  Make word cards for the days of the week Mon. - Fri. and for one apple, two pears, three plums, four strawberries, and five oranges.  Students will match the correct day of the week to the correct food.  For lower ability students, use the days of the week cards already placed in order in the pocketchart and have them match cards with pictures of the foods to the correct day of the week.  To make this activity a little more difficult, have students correctly place the days of the week cards in the pocketchart (with or without a days of the week model), then have them place the food cards correctly.


Butterfly Sandwich and Nectar -  Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and cut diagonally (wings).  Place a strip of celery (concave side down) on a plate vertically (body).   Place the point of each sandwich on each side of the celery to form the wings (long side of the sandwich to the outside).  Use a Ritz cracker at the top of the celery for a head.  Use raisins to make eyes and two stick pretzels for antennae.  Serve with apricot nectar (juice).


Alternative snack - spread bread with cream cheese and use mini marshmallow for head and carrot stick for body,  or use canned cheese for eyes on cracker


Look, I'm a Butterfly

(tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)


I spin and spin my chrysalis, (circle fingers on the palm)

Then go to rest inside. (circle fingers and rest hand on palm)

When I come out, I've changed indeed ... (open fingers slowly)

Look! I'm a butterfly! (fly fingers away)


Nonstandard Measurement -  Use caterpillars to measure pictures of food items in book or pictures of leaf, egg, fat caterpillar, or butterfly.  If you don't want to look for these pictures to make cards, then copy the pictures from the book or use the pictures in the book.  Provide each student with a response sheet to record their answers for each picture. 


*Note* Caterpillars can be made using repeated clipart picture, or use mini caterpillar erasers, etc.


Beginning Sounds -  Have students brainstorm a list of words beginning with /b/ like in butterfly and /c/ like in caterpillar.  Record answers on charts.  Review words daily and see if they can add to the list as time goes by.



(tune: Tiny Tim)


Fuzzy little caterpillar into a corner crept,

Spun himself a blanket and for a long time slept.

Fuzzy little caterpillar, waking by and by,

Found that he had wings, he was a butterfly!


Caterpillar Snack:  Have student cut one half of a banana into slices using a plastic knife.  Arrange slices on a plate forming a caterpillar.  Sprinkle red Jello powder over first banana slice.  Sprinkle green Jello powder over the rest of the slices.  Add raisin eyes on the red slice and chow mein noodles or broken pretzel sticks for antennaes.


Related Books -

Ten Little Caterpillars ~ Avelyn Davidson (Literacy 2000)


Resources -

The Very Hungry Caterpillar  by Eric Carle (with cassette) Scholastic



by Eric Carle



Butterfly Body Parts activity sheet

Story Time Props

Creepy Crawlies Thematic Unit (Teacher  Created Materials, 1990)


Egg Carton Butterfly

Butterfly Mobile

Sun-Catcher Butterfly

Butterfly Life Cycle

April Idea Book - Teacher's Friend Publication TF0400


Favorite Authors: Eric Carle

1992 Teacher Created Materials #451


Blossoming With Good Work - Column Addition sheet

Butterfly's Paradise - Subtraction minuends to 18

A Beautiful Bouquet - Fact Families

Teacher's Helper - Grade 1 - Apr/May/June 1993


Top/Bottom  First/Last

Carson Dellosa  - CD 0955


Butterfly Beginnings - Addition to 10

Flutter-By Facts  - Addition to 9

Flying Facts - Addition to 10

Butterfly Buddies - Addition to 7

Worksheet Magazine (now Teacher's Helper) - Kindergarten - Apr/May/June 1990


Caterpillar Sequencing Cards

Literature Notes for The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Frank Schaffer Publications  FS-2702


The Life of a Butterfly

Literature Library, Vol. 1 K-1

Frank Schaffer Publications FS-1001


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sequence

Theme Series - Butterflies and Moths

Creative Teaching Press



SCORE - The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Teacher Guide


Bulletin Board - Very Hungry Caterpillar


Very Hungry Caterpillar Food Items


Beal's School Exploring Butterflies in Kindergarten


My Very Hungry Day Activity Center


The Very Hungry Caterpillar


I Like Bugs!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Unit (K-3)


The Very Hungry Caterpillar


Fun Felt: Who Ate the Food? Figures to tell The Very Hungry Caterpillar


The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Felt Board Fun


Very Hungry Caterpillar


Dryer Sheet Butterflies Stationery (butterfly writing paper)


Butterfly and Caterpillar Crafts for Kids


Eric Carle in the Classroom


The Official Eric Carle Website


Antboy's Butterfly Page!


The Children's Butterfly Site


Butterflies on the Internet


Butterfly printable


Butterfly printable


Bug & Butterfly Activities


The Very Hungry Caterpillar (K-1)


Caterpillar Cake


Going Buggy! ... Butterflies and Caterpillars


Butterfly Links


Felt Butterflies


The Very Hungry Kindergartener


Butterflies & Caterpillars


The Life Cycle of the Butterfly (1st)


Life Cycle of a Butterfly (preK - 3rd)


Spring Time (Caterpillars) preK - K


The Amazing Caterpillar (1st- 2nd)


The Very Hungry Caterpillar


The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1st)


Elementary Reader's Theatre


Activities for The Very Hungry Caterpillar


Butterfly - Connect the Dots (printable)


Butterfly Mobile


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story Patterns


Insects book and Life Cycle printables


Mrs. Jones - Sing Along: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Song


Caterpillar Bookmark


Make Foam LUVerflies: Butterfly Heartlings


Eric Carle: Author Study


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sequencing Cards (printable)









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